Potosi: Once the richest town in the world.
Jul 05, 2012
Jun 19, 2013
Our plans had changed and instead of catching a night bus to Sucre (they were all full) we made a quick decision to head to Potosi, claimed to be the highest city in the world! We have heard bad things about night buses in Bolivia; no heating, no loos, broken seats, crazy drivers etc but our journey was far from that. The only downside was some fat guy who was snoring all night long. Arriving at around 6am the sudden change in temperature hit us, it must only have been a few degrees. We chose a decent hostel who guaranteed us hot showers and heating and kindly let us check in early so we could recover from our sleepless journey. After a few hours kip, we tried a local place where we had chicken milanese for only 2 quid and for the first time in while we actually enjoyed it haha! To work off our huge lunch we strolled around the main plaza and bendy streets (apparently they stop the harsh cold winds), until the altitude wore us down. Being 4100masl isn't the only reason Potosi is famous for, it also used to be the richest town in the world. This is thanks to the mountain containing silver close by where its still being mined today. Theres plenty of places offering tours into the mines showing tourists the conditions and lifestyles of the minors. Due to my (jade) claustrophobia and it being a bit dangerous we gave it a miss. We did check out where the Spanish had there silver coins made at the Casa Nacional de la Moneda. It was quite interesting seeing all the original equipment used to make the first coins, huge wooden wheels turned by horse power, right up until 1951, machines powered by steam. Randomly there was also a room containing some of the human sacrifices by the Incas. Due to the weather here the young bodies were still in very good condition, complete with hair and finger nails. Unexpectedly this was one of our most favourite museums in South America.
After just spending the day here in Potosi we decided to head to Sucre so we could explore the Tarabuco sunday market and so I can spend even more of our money on alpaca socks.